Get Ready For A Great Week

Cairn; a stack of rocks

Cairn; a stack of rocksAre you ready to have a great week? Here are a few ideas to push this week over the top for you.

First, let’s remember that what we tell ourselves will have an impact on how we view others and events. None of us are completely free of filters. We colour the world according to our beliefs and past experiences. Let’s watch for silent judgmental messages that cloud our ability to see opportunities and good deeds.

Second, setting positive goals will crowd out negative thinking. What work or home objectives are in need of catching up? Break them into smaller bits and set plans in place to knock them off, one by one.

Third, be realistic. I’m not perfect and neither are you. Be quick to overlook faults, including your own. Beating ourselves up for mistakes achieves nothing. Move on.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

~Michael Jordan

Have a great week!




Blogs That Inspire – From 7 Blogs For 7 Days

7 Blogs for 7 Days graphicWhat a pleasure to bring you seven inspiring and motivational blogs. Each is devoted to better thinking and better living.

Pick The Brain – Grow Yourself

3 Ways To Open Up To Opportunity: Exploring The Possibilities will take you on a journey to find pleasure in what’s around you right now. Author: Marcella Chamorro. Twitter link: @Marcinator

The Positivity Blog

How To Start Uncluttering Your Life from Henrik Edberg on The Positivity Blog will help you bring a little more peace into your world by taking small steps to declutter your living space. Connect with Henrik on Google+.

Life Optimizer

How To Win In Life: 6 Tips On Building Resilience. If there’s one skill we can never have too much of, it’s resilience. Enjoy this post from Donald Latumahina. Twitter link: @lifeoptimizer

Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life

5 Important Questions To Ask Yourself When Making Big Decisions by Hannah Braime. Twitter link: @StevenAitchison

Dumb Little Man – Tips For Life

Five Destructive Beliefs Almost Everyone Has And How To Overcome Them by Henri Junttila will have you nodding your head in agreement and reading furiously. Twitter link: @WakeUpCloud

Personal Success Today

SuddenMind: Mind Mapping Templates demonstrates an unusual mind mapping method and includes the complete kit in a zip file for you to download and use. Very generous. Twitter link: @success2you

Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist

3 Rules High Achievers Never Break – I promise you, you have never read another article about getting stuff done like this one. Penelope Trunk shares the humanity of her family while letting us into her inhumanly productive life — including the day she learned what happens when you don’t listen to your body. Twitter link: @PenelopeTrunk

Finding Room For Growth Within Ourselves

TheHappiestLifeWhat are you best at? What do you do so well that others comment on it or come to you for advice? Which one of your qualities or skills would you like more of? That’s where you’ll find your best opportunities for growth and development.

Wait. What About My Weaknesses?

Yeah, you have weaknesses. So do I. We could spend our waking hours itemizing them and giving them lots of attention. In the meantime, we lose the chance to see how far we can take ourselves by focusing on abilities rather than deficits.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

~ Mark Twain

So what are you best at? What quality or skill would you like to have more of?

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone

People and organizations are often driven to do their best work during times of challenge.

How can that be?  Don’t we do our best when we’re relaxed and comfortable?

The truth is, some people work at optimal levels only when faced with a looming deadline.

Think about a time you were preparing to leave on vacation.  Wasn’t your last day in the office the most productive day you had in months?  Did you marvel at the vast array of completed tasks or how easily you managed to identify and discard the unnecessary jobs that had been hanging out on your to-do list for weeks?

According to Robin Sharma: “If you’re not a little scared each day, you’re not making much progress.”

Push yourself.  Find a goal that excites you.  Set a crazy expectation and then work like hell to make it a reality.

The man who taught me branding

Victor carefully examines the charred chair, mentally forming his repair plan

When you read the words “personal brand” what comes to mind for you? Dan Schawbel? Social media? Perhaps you think of Tom Peter’s 2007 Fast Company article entitled The Brand Called You which is often credited for popularizing the term. I know someone who lived and breathed the personal branding message decades ago.

Victor loved words and was keenly aware of their power.  He could stun the most learned with the breadth of his vocabulary.  He loved to orate – but mostly he enjoyed making connections between things that others might find totally unrelated.  His views were not always popular, but they were principled.

In July 1982 his workshop burned down.

He stared past the machinery coated with soot and ashes, and said he wasn’t about to give up.  “No, I’m still a young man,” said the 78-year-old Branford resident as he watched firefighters douse smoldering rafters and toss aside the blackened back door to his shopThe Journal-Courier – July 9, 1982

He handed the journalist covering the fire his business card; on it was the motto: “Where skill is law and honesty the creed“.  Each time I pick up the yellowed news page and read that branding line I think about the many hours he would have labored over choosing just the right words. Not the content – that would have come easily. But Victor would have pored over a dictionary full of words in order to convey just the right meaning with as few words as possible.  And I can imagine him reciting the possible word combinations out loud to see how they sounded.

This week I’m attending a seminar on marketing. I’ll be thinking about Victor Hofrichter, my grandfather, the man who taught me branding.

Thanks for the inspiration DW – you know who you are – *wink*

Good Things From 2009

This last month my schedule has been really jam packed. No time for blog updates, researching employment trends or checking out leadership links on Twitter (yes I know that sounds geeky).  I’m even behind in reading HBR articles which is really not like me — though I am taking time out this weekend to read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Outliers”.

This post – my last one for the year – is dedicated to all the interesting and good things that happened in 2009.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll keep adding things as I find them. Click on the comments link below to tell me what I’m missing and I’ll include your good things, too.

  • Here is the best Christmas story EVER — Students at a Coquitlam, BC school are volunteering their time to walk the streets of Vancouver’s downtown east side with Christmas cards and stamps.   This area is known as one of the highest density areas in North America for homeless people.  The students help these people write cards and then they research postal codes and complete addresses and get the cards to their rightful recipients.  What a fantastic way to promote connectedness and caring.
  • From micro-activism via mobile apps to social causes on YouTube, read how social networking promotes the spirit of giving in 2009
  • Read this piece from called “5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion in 2009”
  • Bing was launched as the first serious competitor to Google search.  Bing has not yet become a verb – as in the phrase: Just Google it – but they’re hoping!
  • The Hubble telescope underwent a risky 13-day service mission to put it back in action. The results are spectacular (that funny looking thing on the right is a photo of the Bug Nebula)
  • Dollar Stores came to the rescue of bargain hunting shoppers grappling with double-digit unemployment. Name one other place on this planet where you can buy seven toothbrushes for a dollar!
  • Facebook got spanked by the Canadian government for privacy violations. As a result, FB users worldwide have better choices over how much information is shared with third-party applications.
  • LinkedIn ballooned to 50 million members and the site got some pretty slick updates.  It also gained serious credibility with recruiters and hiring managers everywhere as a great way to check work history and accomplishments.
  • Twitter made numerous improvements, from decreased fail time (I haven’t seen the fail whale in ages) — to a fancy new way to retweet — to adding personalized lists. Have you tried it lately?
  • Susan Boyle turned a jeering audience into a cheering crowd in under 15 seconds when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Most Talented.  She even transformed Simon Cowell into a fan as evidenced by his helping her turn out her first album.
  • Investors and fans fretted when Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced in January he would take a 6-month medical leave.  He’s back (with a new liver) and the iPhone has grown to 6.4 million users.

Some favorite inspirational words

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.  Abraham Lincoln

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up someplace else.  Yogi Berra

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all. 



Add a Little Inspiration to Your Day

Christine Marinho Ferreira wrote on Facebook: The most wasted day of all is one in which we have not laughed. Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

My friend Christine posts the best Facebook status updates.  They’re always uplifting and usually contain some nugget of learning.  When she gave me permission to reprint her status she let me know that she is not the author – and she wasn’t sure where it came from — so off I went to research the lines.  It turns out there are two authors.

chamfortThe first sentence has been attributed to Chamfort, a French playwright (1741-1794).  You can see more of his quotes at The second portion, the part about life, comes from Virginia Satir who was an American psychologist and educator (1916-1988). 

satirIn researching Virginia Satir I came across one of the most beautiful and inspirational stories I have ever read.  I hope you follow this link and read it.  It will make your day.

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Running A Good Race

Inspiration is everywhere. The trick is recognizing it and grabbing it. Today I found it in a Facebook status from my friend Donna. She wrote this in preparation for running in a half marathon. I think we can all glean something from her words.

DonnaFLDonna Foster-Larocque

my race mantras for today: Run Strong and steady. tough times will pass. Your mind is in charge. Keep your head in the game as it controls the body. Break down the route and set goals to reach each point. Just do it! Things can happen that are out of your control, deal with it, stay relaxed and in control of your best performance.  Pace yourself!

Donna finished the marathon today.  Way to go!  If you’re interested in investigating running for fitness you can find Donna at Totum Life Science in the Toronto area or look her up on LinkedIn.

Whether you’re planning on running in a marathon or working your career with laser focus —  determination and endurance are valuable qualities.  I’m going to think of Donna and her mantra as I stretch myself toward running a good race this week.